When I was a child I had a propensity for wandering away. I wasn't trying to escape anything. In fact, I remember being terrified when I would discover I was not where I had intended to be; securely within sight of my mother. As much as we dread getting lost, or even worse as adults - losing sight of a child, there's an important set of lessons we learn. The most obvious being: we have to get lost if we want to be found. Little children get this. There is that whole toddler phase where little children run away from mom and dad in haughty glee only to stop dead in their tracks and wail until they are scooped up and comforted. We humans have no idea what sort of loving arms are waiting for us until we encounter these moments of separation.
You may have noticed this email looks a little different from the one that's normally in your inbox. Our faithful rector Bill Harper is chasing some dreams this summer during a well-deserved sabbatical. While Bill's absence is a little more pronounced than some, this is a season we call "Sabbath season" here at Grace. During this time we recognize and honor the human need to rest these long summer days. Programs slow down. The occasional meeting gets moved or cancelled. Some of us even head off to distant lands or local places of leisure.
Grace doesn't stop even if we take a vacation. By this I mean when you come to church on a Sunday morning this summer, you will find loving arms here to welcome you home. You will hear familiar (and new) songs. You will find nourishment for your soul. But if you happen to run away in haughty glee into the woods, or to the teal waters of the Pacific, or some other sunset you are racing after - Grace won't stop for you either. Whether it's a sabbatical, a vacation, or just turning out the lights and heading home; we can't go far enough to escape the loving arms of God or the well wishes of this community. The greeting "goodbye" is a contraction for an archaic greeting, "God be with ye." It is good for the soul to rest and take leave. Wherever you find yourself: Grace be with you.